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Long-Term Care and Lazy Rotten Kids

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  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Kerstin Roeder

Abstract

This paper studies the determination of informal long-term care (family aid) to dependent elderly in a worst case scenario concerning the “harmony” of family relations. Children are purely selfish, and neither side can make credible commitments (which rules out efficient bargaining). The model is based on Becker’s “rotten kid” specification except that it explicitly accounts for the sequence of decisions. In Becker’s world, with a single good, this setting yields efficiency. We show that when family aid (and long-term care services in general) are introduced the outcome is likely to be inefficient. Still, the rotten kid mechanism is at work and ensures that a positive level of aid is provided as long as the bequest motive is operative. We identify the inefficiencies by comparing the laissez-faire (subgame perfect) equilibrium to the first-best allocation. We initially assume that families are identical ex ante. However, the case where dynasties differ in wealth is also considered. We study how the provision of long-term care (LTC) can be improved by public policies under various informational assumptions. Interestingly, crowding out of private aid by public LTC is not a problem in this setting. With an operative bequest motive, public LTC will have no impact on private aid. More amazingly still, when the bequest motive is (initially) not operative, public insurance may even enhance the provision of informal aid.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4372.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4372

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Keywords: rotten kids; long-term care; family aid; optimal taxation;

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References

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  1. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," Working Papers 650, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Norton Edward C. & Nicholas Lauren H. & Huang Sean Sheng-Hsiu, 2013. "Informal Care and Inter-vivos Transfers: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 377-400, May.
  3. Siciliani Luigi, 2013. "The Economics of Long-Term Care," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 343-375, August.
  4. Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  5. CREMER, Helmuth & gahvari, Firouz & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2013. "Uncertain altruism and the provision of long term care," CORE Discussion Papers 2013047, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  7. Canta Chiara & Pestieau Pierre, 2013. "Long-Term Care Insurance and Family Norms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 401-428, April.
  8. Bolin, K. & Lindgren, B. & Lundborg, P., 2008. "Your next of kin or your own career?: Caring and working among the 50+ of Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 718-738, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2014. "Rotten Spouses, Family Transfers and Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 7998, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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